OFFICIALS at the border crossing in Mae Sot city, western Tak province, are keeping a tight 24-hour watch after residents got scared that 27 Myanmar jailbreakers might cross over, Thai News Agency reported today (Sept. 18, 2018).
According to an AFP report, the escape occurred last Sunday morning after prisoners seized a truck that had entered Hpa-An prison in eastern Karen state.
“They attacked a prison officer, wounding him, and drove the truck out of the prison,” local official Khin Thet Mar said.
According to Radio Free Asia, former political prisoner Nanda Sit Aung, who spent time in the Hpa-an prison, said most inmates serving long sentences at the time were involved in narcotics cases.
“There are two big gates inside the prison, and they [the prisoners] can’t go outside the inner gate,” he said.
“They said these prisoners stole a truck outside of the jail and escaped, [but] that is impossible,” Nanda Sit Aug said.
The prisoners split up after they managed to run away but Myanmar officials, who had declared a state of emergency, succeeded in recapturing 14 of the escapees, killed 2 of them while trying to capture them, with 27 still at large
After news about the escaped inmates spread at the border, people got scared that these jailbreakers might cross the border. This led to Mae Sot border officials stringently checking all types of vehicles crossing over to Thailand, but none of the escapees have been spotted so far.
Top: Beefed up border security at Mae Sot after a jailbreak in Myanmar. Photo: Thai News Agency